Using content filtering in the Google Play Store

Google Play Store

Having the ability to restrict what sort of apps are displayed to you in the Google Play Store is important. While Google does have guidelines on what is and isn't allowed into the store, it isn't the same as being able to keep stuff you just don't want to see out of sight and mind.

Whether it's a personal choice or whether you just want to keep mature apps and games out of reach of your children, Google makes using it a simple process.

How to customize your content filtering settings

Thankfully the content filtering settings aren't tucked away in some obscure location, they're really easy to find and really easy to use:

  • Open up the Play Store app on your phone or tablet
  • Pull out the menu from the left and open "Settings"
  • Under "User controls" look for "Content filtering"
  • Tap on it and you'll see the options shown in the image up top

This gives you the option to allow apps to be shown based on how mature you want the content to be. From low through to showing all apps, it gives you the choice of what you want to see. The Play Store is a pretty open place but Google does have guidelines on what developers can and can't do. You can read those in full here (opens in new tab). If you see an app in the Google Play Store that you think is inappropriate, you've got the option to flag it as such to Google and you should absolutely use it.

In some instances it's obvious as to why you'd want to filter out some apps, parents being one of the biggest ones. If your kid is playing with an Android device and having a browse of the Play Store, you absolutely don't want them finding some of the stuff that's out there. A two-prong approach in this case would be to make sure that in the Play Store settings you've set the "Require password for purchase" option to always.

There's no right and wrong way to approaching content filtering it is entirely down to preference. Luckily Google makes it easy for us.

  • I want to see a different kind of filtering. I don't always accept app updates. Sometimes they add features I don't care about (e.g., multiple language translations), sometimes they introduce bugs, sometimes they remove features I don't want to lose. But once an app is ready to upgrade, it sits in the list of updates in the Play Store app FOREVER. Please, Google, let me swipe away an update notification, then don't show it to me again until there's another update on that app.
  • ^This!
  • What's the difference between 'Everyone' and 'Show all apps'?
  • Everyone is similar to the video game rating E for everyone, meaning it is appropriate for tots. 'Show all apps' means adult.
  • I'm using to change my settings for play apps but I can't remember my days it's the same password used for my Gmail yet it won't let me type letters in and the pin is 4 numbers. How can I change settings?
  • Why is there no content filter option under user settings in my google play store? It has only three other things.